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CEMA Sues the Conn. Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

CEMA has filed a lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court against the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority alleging both the agency and regulatory board violated state environmental laws in an effort to fast-track Governor Malloy’s energy plan to convert 280,000 homes and businesses from oil to gas.


 


The lawsuit contends that in pushing through the state’s multi-billion dollar energy plan, DEEP and PURA are blatantly ignoring state laws which require environmental evaluations of the gas expansion projects.


 


Connecticut’s Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) requires DEEP to perform an environmental evaluation of projects proposed by the state to determine whether they may cause a significant adverse impact on the environment.  Where such a finding is made, the agency must prepare and Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) that assesses the environmental impacts of the project and considers less environmentally sensitive alternatives.


 


The lawsuit seeks to stop any further implementation of the state’s natural gas infrastructure expansion plan until an EIE is prepared, or at the very least, until an assessment is made to determine whether an EIE is necessary under the law.


 


CEMA contends that DEEP should have prepared an EIE as part of designing the state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which proposes a massive expansion of utility gas infrastructure – an expansion that will increase methane leakage from the transmission lines and which may affect endangered or protected environmental habitats.


 


CEMA is represented by the prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm Bassman, Mitchell and Alfano and the Stamford, CT law firm Verrill Dana.


 


For more information, please contact Chris Herb, chris@ctema.com.

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